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802.11n for Midmarket BYOD: Why now?

We’re in the midst of an incredible megatrend. We know it and we’re living it. We all love our mobile devices; whether it’s our laptop (yes, I’m sitting at my kids swim class typing away for work), our mobile phone (I’m getting texts on what’s for dinner), or our tablet (where Draw Something awaits me). Apple recently stated that they have sold more than 67 million iPads in the recent 18 months. That is more than all the Mac sales in the past 27 years. There’s no denying it:  we are in the midst of an incredible megatrend—a mobile megatrend.

But what does this mean to businesses?From the IT perspective, the role of the mobile devices has transformed from a luxury item used for personal communication and entertainment to an integral tool for employee productivity. Mobile devices are now the main platform for work (laptop or tablet) and the primary medium for corporate contact (mobile phone). With employees bringing an average of two mobile devices each (laptop/tablet + mobile phone), companies can reap the benefits of new business opportunities and more productive employees.

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Performing like an Olympian

Devices are everywhere!

Aside from my parents, nobody I know would call me athletic. Some might call me active or energetic, but when it comes to raw talent and strength, I’ll never have what it takes to be competitive. Knowing that I only run, bike or play for fun makes me wonder about Olympians. What exactly is it about these athletes that allows them to deliver peak performance leading up to, during, and well beyond the Olympic Games?  What lets them to go faster, stay balanced and hit their targets despite crowd interference and do it all without getting hurt (for the most part!)? How do top athletes manage to perform no matter what is going on around them? The same might be asked about the Cisco Network.

What other network can provide an end–to-end solution to organizations that are balancing access, performance and security challenges?  The number of mobile devices is exploding – I witnessed the sheer number of people using their devices around London during the Olympic Games. And I’m not just talking about people using their phones to find their friends in Olympic Park. Everyone from local workers to law enforcement officers to cultural volunteers to throngs of tourists are relying on smart phones and tablets everywhere they go, from offices to parks to stadiums to the subway.

London is just one example of the scope of network infrastructure necessary to satisfy the ever growing number of users, devices, types of traffic and bandwidth needs infiltrating our lives. And why not take a cue from London and the preparations made for hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics? It’s time to make sure your network is on track to handle new devices, security risks, and overall user demands. Read More »

A spot of Wi-Fi, dear?

Connectivity Underground!

After just one day in London, I began to take the Tube system of transportation for granted. It’s just so easy to zip from one side of town to the other – no traffic, continuous service and more destinations than any person can hit during one vacation.

I felt savvy and confident using the Tube given my previous experience commuting on the NYC subway for 7 years. But I had a moment of panic when I remembered that I was without an international data plan; could I really survive 5 days without my “data”? Not being able to make calls or to send or receive texts was scary enough, but finding my way around a new city without a mapping app in my hand? Unimaginable! Turns out the Tube was the solution to my problem. Wi-Fi was readily available, for FREE, in Tube stations around the city. Since I was constantly out and on the go, I actually found myself relying on my underground travel time to connect with friends, make plans, post to Twitter and Facebook and even buy a new book for my e-reader! Read More »

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BYOD and Government Certifications

It’s summer and my kids have been testing for swim certification so they can swim in the big pool. When they complain about the swim exam, I assure them that it’s not only to be safe, but also  to validate that they have reached a recognized standard of performance.  Similarly, governments worldwide require proof of certification before allowing equipment, including commercial wireless devices and technology, to be deployed on their networks.

With the growing trend towards BYOD, countless organizations must strategize how to best protect data in-transit across wireless networks, while optimizing the benefits of a mobile workforce.  For government and public sector organizations, it is especially imperative that the solutions employed to mitigate risks associated with BYOD and WLAN are compliant with the highest standards and certifications.

Certification is an ongoing effort in a changing landscape.  Cisco maintains an active product certification program for government customers by staying as current as possible with certifications to enable our customers to confidently deploy our solution.  As of July 26, 2012, we are proud to announce the Common Criteria Certification award to one of our recent 7.0 software releases.

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Innovations that give your network a boost.

As technology consumers, we take almost every aspect of wireless connectivity, network technology innovation and performance for granted. As technology workers, we tend to think about standards more than most people. But even so, do you really think about standards much when you use one of your many wireless devices? When you bought your tablet, did you wonder whether it supported 802.11n or 802.11a/g? Did you think it would matter when you started using it? And when a new standard gets introduced, do you jump online or race to the tech shop to swap out all of your devices so they support that new standard. I’ve never seen an ad for a device that uses standards compliance as a feature or benefit, just as no one has ever said to me, “Hey, check out my new smart phone! It’s 802.11n compliant, man! It’s so cool!” My point: we generally choose our devices based on features and price, rather than on standards compliance. (Well, there are many who are paid to test new devices for standards compliance, so my opinion will not be without some controversy to someone.)

The reality we face, however, is that wireless networks need to account for and support multiple standards, just as they must support multiple device types. The challenge for IT managers is to ensure that they are providing the best experience for users wherever they are on the network, efficiently, so that a user with an older device has the same experience as a user with a newer device. Cisco ClientLink 2.0 Technology does just that.

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